Right after work last Saturday, I went to Yongin City to attend the wedding of my dear friend who is also a Filipina. As much as my husband wanted to join me, he couldn’t make it as he was scheduled for an important meeting somewhere far; thus I had to travel for 4 hours (round trip) by myself. I waited so long for a taxi outside the subway station (nearest to the venue). There weren’t many taxis in Yongin so one lady who was also from Seoul asked if she could share the ride with me. Just like me, she was also going to attend a wedding. Hehe! 🙂
In Korea, weddings are usually held at a wedding hall or at a wedding house. At a wedding house, you rent the whole place exclusively for your event for three hours. The main hall is used for the ceremony as well as the dining place for the guests. At wedding halls, the short wedding ceremony takes place at the main hall and then the guests transfer to the buffet area afterwards. Most likely, your guests and other couple’s guests will be sharing the buffet area at a wedding hall. My friend had an intimate and lovely house wedding. It was a pleasant sight to see her family and close friends who came all the way from overseas to attend her special day. 🙂
In a Korean wedding, it is not a custom to have an entourage wearing matching outfits. Only the bride wears a white gown. The mothers of the couple wear colorful hanbok while the fathers wear suit. The guests usually wear formal attire. My friend wanted her wedding to have a Filipino touch and let her friends wear matching floral dresses. It was something new for the Korean guests at the wedding.
What to expect:
As a guest, you are expected to give congratulatory cash (축의금) to the couple. At the entrance, there is a reception area where you hand your monetary gift in. It should be put in an envelope with your name and the amount written on it. In exchange, you will be given a meal voucher.
Guests in a Korean wedding usually arrive early, around 20-30 minutes before the ceremony. The groom stays at the lobby to greet the guests, and the bride waits at the bridal lounge where guests can take a photo with her.
Korean weddings are short and sweet. The program usually includes the exchange of vows, congratulatory messages from parents and selected close friends, cake cutting, giving of rings, congratulatory performance, kiss and final march. After that, the traditional ceremony called Pyebaek is performed in a separate room but only family and relatives join this ceremony. The other guests enjoy the buffet meal and leave.
At the wedding, I also got to meet a new Filipina friend who lives in the area. She came with her husband and cute baby girl. It was a lovely day full of love. I wish my friend a happy, long-lasting marriage and successful life in Korea. 🙂